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Steven Spence

Steven Spence Verified in Google 

nerdy; stargazer; legend in my own mind; wannabe photographer, may post occasional spider pictures - you have been warned!

Occupation: IT Manager

Followers: 20,379

Cream of the Crop: 08/14/2012

Added to CircleCount.com: 08/05/2011That's the date, where Steven Spence has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

12
comments per post
4
reshares per post
72
+1's per post

315
characters per posting

Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 45

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2017-05-17 05:59:19 (45 comments; 6 reshares; 300 +1s; )Open 

Dinosaur Day?

I saw on Twitter someone posting about Dinosaur Day. I never heard of that before but I'm onboard. Heck, every day should be Dinosaur Day!

Say hello to Monoclonius nasicornus found in the Red Deer River Deposit, Alberta, Canada. This specimen is exhibited at the Paleontological Museum in München, Germany.


Photo: not 100% true to what you see or photograph, as I had to make geometric (perspective) adjustments. I had to photograph at an angle due physical constraints on where I take a picture and still get the whole specimen. Still this should be close enough.

#dinosaurs #science #museum

Most reshares: 16

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2017-05-29 06:51:24 (25 comments; 16 reshares; 301 +1s; )Open 

Another Pair

Love is in the air on my trees. The ladybirds are coming for the aphids and finding mates.

Most plusones: 322

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2017-06-16 13:03:47 (33 comments; 15 reshares; 322 +1s; )Open 

Ada Hagan shares how bacteria steal iron during infections. It's a tactic used by anthrax but at least in mice if the siderophores used by the bacteria are blocked the mice can contain the disease. highly interesting.

Also, let's not deal with the whole spinach and iron thing here. That would be off-topic. Ada got it right that Popeye was after Vitamin A. If anyone wants to go down that rabbit hole (an "academic urban legend") please see this post: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-will-debunk-the-debunkers/

+Kate Stone +GotScience.org 

Latest 50 posts

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2017-08-14 21:48:42 (6 comments; 6 reshares; 42 +1s; )Open 

+Bill Sullivan and +Kate Stone had an article about ScienceConnected, the parent of the GotScience.org webzine, published today in Plos. It describes why making science more accessible is important.


http://blogs.plos.org/scicomm/2017/08/14/science-connected-accessible-science-communication/

+Bill Sullivan and +Kate Stone had an article about ScienceConnected, the parent of the GotScience.org webzine, published today in Plos. It describes why making science more accessible is important.


http://blogs.plos.org/scicomm/2017/08/14/science-connected-accessible-science-communication/___

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2017-08-12 17:08:14 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 77 +1s; )Open 

To eat is to appropriate by destruction.

Ginger has been reading Sartre again.

To eat is to appropriate by destruction.

Ginger has been reading Sartre again. ___

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2017-08-12 16:58:58 (5 comments; 1 reshares; 40 +1s; )Open 

For #JoinDaily #JoinInDaily curated by +Johnny Wills with today's theme of Flowers not yellow

For #JoinDaily #JoinInDaily curated by +Johnny Wills with today's theme of Flowers not yellow
___

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2017-08-08 18:20:11 (16 comments; 8 reshares; 76 +1s; )Open 

Read about "bee wrangling"!

Read about "bee wrangling"!
___

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2017-08-03 20:20:29 (26 comments; 11 reshares; 109 +1s; )Open 

The SciGirls television series works to engage and inspire girls (and boys!) in all of the STEM fields, so the episodes cover a wide array of topics ranging from software and biomedical engineering to cloud cover and dolphins to food science and bird watching. Girls learn skills like how to verify and present information, how to form hypotheses, and how to collect data. All episodes are available in Spanish, and in 2018, SciGirls will premiere a new season of six “Spanish first” episodes with English subtitles. In 2020, SciGirls will introduce another season focused on computer science, particularly coding and programming.

http://www.gotscience.org/2017/08/scigirls-real-stem-role-models-young-girls/

by +Shayna Keyles

The SciGirls television series works to engage and inspire girls (and boys!) in all of the STEM fields, so the episodes cover a wide array of topics ranging from software and biomedical engineering to cloud cover and dolphins to food science and bird watching. Girls learn skills like how to verify and present information, how to form hypotheses, and how to collect data. All episodes are available in Spanish, and in 2018, SciGirls will premiere a new season of six “Spanish first” episodes with English subtitles. In 2020, SciGirls will introduce another season focused on computer science, particularly coding and programming.

http://www.gotscience.org/2017/08/scigirls-real-stem-role-models-young-girls/

by +Shayna Keyles___

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2017-08-02 17:20:15 (11 comments; 0 reshares; 60 +1s; )Open 

Preparing dinner....

Preparing dinner....___

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2017-07-28 17:08:42 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 36 +1s; )Open 

Jonathan Trinastic writes about the Urban life of bees.

Jonathan Trinastic writes about the Urban life of bees.___

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2017-07-28 17:07:50 (26 comments; 4 reshares; 135 +1s; )Open 

Urban Bees!

Urban Bees!___

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2017-07-21 08:12:32 (15 comments; 5 reshares; 118 +1s; )Open 

For those of you who don't subscribe to my "Bees and Blossoms" collection, here's an article that went live yesterday. It's about some simple tips to help bees that just about anyone with a small garden or even a few plants on a balcony can use. People with larger plots definitely have more options.

+Kate Stone +GotScience.org

http://www.gotscience.org/2017/07/bee-friendly-garden/

For those of you who don't subscribe to my "Bees and Blossoms" collection, here's an article that went live yesterday. It's about some simple tips to help bees that just about anyone with a small garden or even a few plants on a balcony can use. People with larger plots definitely have more options.

+Kate Stone +GotScience.org

http://www.gotscience.org/2017/07/bee-friendly-garden/___

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2017-07-21 08:10:02 (6 comments; 0 reshares; 40 +1s; )Open 

Yay! I had an article I wrote a few months back for a special project go live yesterday. It's a 5 point summary of some tips to help bees. The nice thing about it is that I got to use my own photos. The really fun part is watching bees. You'd be amazed at how attractive thistles are to them. :-)

Yay! I had an article I wrote a few months back for a special project go live yesterday. It's a 5 point summary of some tips to help bees. The nice thing about it is that I got to use my own photos. The really fun part is watching bees. You'd be amazed at how attractive thistles are to them. :-) ___

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2017-07-16 09:46:26 (13 comments; 7 reshares; 65 +1s; )Open 

There are plenty of reasons to admire the corvids. They are not only Odin's companions but representatives of dinosaurs. We're only now beginning to design experiments that uncover the intelligence inherent in many animals. I can tell you that watching animals in the wild they are crafty, but structured experiements reveal more precisely how smart they are. Personally, I think our ancient, fossilized friends shared many cognitive traits with modern birds.

In a series of four experiments, we investigated whether ravens (Corvus corax) plan domain-flexibly (14). Each experiment included two main conditions—a technical and a social one—for which ravens lack behavioral predispositions: tool-use and bartering with humans. Ravens are not habitual tool users, and bartering has never been observed in the wild. The experiments were mainly chosen because they replicate key experiments withpri... more »

There are plenty of reasons to admire the corvids. They are not only Odin's companions but representatives of dinosaurs. We're only now beginning to design experiments that uncover the intelligence inherent in many animals. I can tell you that watching animals in the wild they are crafty, but structured experiements reveal more precisely how smart they are. Personally, I think our ancient, fossilized friends shared many cognitive traits with modern birds.

In a series of four experiments, we investigated whether ravens (Corvus corax) plan domain-flexibly (14). Each experiment included two main conditions—a technical and a social one—for which ravens lack behavioral predispositions: tool-use and bartering with humans. Ravens are not habitual tool users, and bartering has never been observed in the wild. The experiments were mainly chosen because they replicate key experiments with primates (1–4, 14, 15). Specifically, we tested whether ravens can make decisions for an event 15 min into the future (experiment 1), and over longer intervals of 17 hours (experiment 2). We additionally tested whether ravens can exert self-control when making decisions for the future (experiment 3).
...
This study suggests that ravens make decisions for futures outside their current sensory contexts, and that they are domain-general planners on par with apes. In the tool conditions, including self-control, the ravens were at least as proficient as tool-using apes (1, 2, 15). In the bartering conditions, the ravens outperformed orangutans, bonobos, and particularly chimpanzees (3, 4, 15). [Detailed comparisons are available in (14).] The first trial performances show that the ravens’ behaviors were not a result of habit formation, and that they perform better than 4-year-old children in a comparable set-up (16).

The original paper is here: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/357/6347/202.full


Most people are sharing this article which is easier to read. I think I saw +Paul Hodson and +miri dunn share this article. I'm sure other people reported on it too.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/wj8p3n/ravens-are-so-smart-one-hacked-this-researchers-experiment___

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2017-07-13 17:40:27 (9 comments; 1 reshares; 67 +1s; )Open 

Nifty 50 meets neighbor's butterfly bush but only bees buzzing about. ;-)

Nifty 50 meets neighbor's butterfly bush but only bees buzzing about. ;-)___

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2017-07-12 20:04:28 (10 comments; 1 reshares; 60 +1s; )Open 

This post combines a couple of hobbies.

1. a bumblebee
2. as a bonus an example of shallow depth of field in photography.

If you look at the "wide" picture (downsized from original) you can see only a tiny horizontal strip is in focus. The "close up" of the bee is just a crop from the original size. I'm quite happy with how sharp this "nifty 50" is. It's not a macro. I was also happy to have a sleepy bee while I manually focused on it during a rainstorm. This was shot on a shelf in my garage so the lighting wasn't great but it made for a good test of the optics.

The bee got a little honey from me for being such a good model then she flew off very refreshed.

This post combines a couple of hobbies.

1. a bumblebee
2. as a bonus an example of shallow depth of field in photography.

If you look at the "wide" picture (downsized from original) you can see only a tiny horizontal strip is in focus. The "close up" of the bee is just a crop from the original size. I'm quite happy with how sharp this "nifty 50" is. It's not a macro. I was also happy to have a sleepy bee while I manually focused on it during a rainstorm. This was shot on a shelf in my garage so the lighting wasn't great but it made for a good test of the optics.

The bee got a little honey from me for being such a good model then she flew off very refreshed. ___

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2017-07-12 06:15:50 (22 comments; 6 reshares; 129 +1s; )Open 

From the article:

Roadside habitat can only rebuild declining species if population increases surpass increases in roadkill. Much of the optimism about habitat highways derives from a few papers that indicate that restoring native vegetation on roadsides does increase butterfly abundance and, just as important, that the percentage of individuals lost is relatively small. In a 2013 paper, for example, scientists walking 60 transects in southern Poland estimated that 6.8 percent of the butterflies they recorded were dead on the road. However, the Polish researchers also pointed to what they called a “conservation dilemma”: While higher-quality habitat boosts butterfly abundance, it also increases the total number of butterflies killed.

h/t to +Norma Hunt

From the article:

Roadside habitat can only rebuild declining species if population increases surpass increases in roadkill. Much of the optimism about habitat highways derives from a few papers that indicate that restoring native vegetation on roadsides does increase butterfly abundance and, just as important, that the percentage of individuals lost is relatively small. In a 2013 paper, for example, scientists walking 60 transects in southern Poland estimated that 6.8 percent of the butterflies they recorded were dead on the road. However, the Polish researchers also pointed to what they called a “conservation dilemma”: While higher-quality habitat boosts butterfly abundance, it also increases the total number of butterflies killed.

h/t to +Norma Hunt___

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2017-07-11 18:40:13 (27 comments; 3 reshares; 108 +1s; )Open 

This article features some photos from my garden. I hope you enjoy it. I'm not a very good gardener, but I practice what I write about and the insects and birds seem to like visiting. I count that as a positive. Also, I like being able to eat an apple right off the tree without wondering if it has any pesticides on it.

Have a great day!

Thanks to +Norman Rusin, the +GotScience.org team, and +Kate Stone for editing/publishing this piece.

This article features some photos from my garden. I hope you enjoy it. I'm not a very good gardener, but I practice what I write about and the insects and birds seem to like visiting. I count that as a positive. Also, I like being able to eat an apple right off the tree without wondering if it has any pesticides on it.

Have a great day!

Thanks to +Norman Rusin, the +GotScience.org team, and +Kate Stone for editing/publishing this piece.___

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2017-07-01 08:42:13 (20 comments; 10 reshares; 95 +1s; )Open 

This is a project that Science Connected is participating in to help children, esp. young girls realize they can become researchers. Ask +Kate Stone for more information if you're interested.

Children are constantly exposed to superhero role models who rely on supernatural powers, something to which kids cannot relate. By focusing on the scientist’s key personality trait—in this case, persistence—and that role in the heroes' success, we show children that great achievement is not limited to a select group of masterminds, but rather is within the reach of anyone.

When Marie Curie Researcher, Sebastiano Garroni, brought his four-year-old daughter into his lab and asked if she wanted to be a researcher like her dad, she replied, "Sure Dad, but sorry, researchers are men and I am a little girl". Marie Curie is a perfect example of what anyone, especially fouryear-... more »

This is a project that Science Connected is participating in to help children, esp. young girls realize they can become researchers. Ask +Kate Stone for more information if you're interested.

Children are constantly exposed to superhero role models who rely on supernatural powers, something to which kids cannot relate. By focusing on the scientist’s key personality trait—in this case, persistence—and that role in the heroes' success, we show children that great achievement is not limited to a select group of masterminds, but rather is within the reach of anyone.

When Marie Curie Researcher, Sebastiano Garroni, brought his four-year-old daughter into his lab and asked if she wanted to be a researcher like her dad, she replied, "Sure Dad, but sorry, researchers are men and I am a little girl". Marie Curie is a perfect example of what anyone, especially four year-old litle girls, can achieve with a bit of enthusiasm, knowledge, and devotion to science.

Marie is exactly the type of role model we need to make science an exciting adventure for kids.___

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2017-06-25 10:41:38 (43 comments; 15 reshares; 289 +1s; )Open 

One of my ladybird beetle friends on the lavender outside my office window. It is overcast so the purple colors don't show up as well as they could.

One of my ladybird beetle friends on the lavender outside my office window. It is overcast so the purple colors don't show up as well as they could.___

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2017-06-25 10:39:34 (11 comments; 1 reshares; 55 +1s; )Open 

Still no rain but temps are down a bit and it is overcast. The roses like it.

I see plenty of bees in the lavender and will try to get some of them when the sun comes out again. I really need sunlight to bring out the colors and to be able to shoot fast enough to have sharp bee photos.

Have a great Sunday!

Still no rain but temps are down a bit and it is overcast. The roses like it.

I see plenty of bees in the lavender and will try to get some of them when the sun comes out again. I really need sunlight to bring out the colors and to be able to shoot fast enough to have sharp bee photos.

Have a great Sunday! ___

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2017-06-16 13:09:36 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 24 +1s; )Open 

Fun in the kitchen, Ikea style.

Just a concept but a lot of fun imagining it. via +Bored Panda
http://www.boredpanda.com/ikea-cooking-recipe-posters/

Fun in the kitchen, Ikea style.

Just a concept but a lot of fun imagining it. via +Bored Panda
http://www.boredpanda.com/ikea-cooking-recipe-posters/ ___

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2017-06-16 13:03:47 (33 comments; 15 reshares; 322 +1s; )Open 

Ada Hagan shares how bacteria steal iron during infections. It's a tactic used by anthrax but at least in mice if the siderophores used by the bacteria are blocked the mice can contain the disease. highly interesting.

Also, let's not deal with the whole spinach and iron thing here. That would be off-topic. Ada got it right that Popeye was after Vitamin A. If anyone wants to go down that rabbit hole (an "academic urban legend") please see this post: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-will-debunk-the-debunkers/

+Kate Stone +GotScience.org 

Ada Hagan shares how bacteria steal iron during infections. It's a tactic used by anthrax but at least in mice if the siderophores used by the bacteria are blocked the mice can contain the disease. highly interesting.

Also, let's not deal with the whole spinach and iron thing here. That would be off-topic. Ada got it right that Popeye was after Vitamin A. If anyone wants to go down that rabbit hole (an "academic urban legend") please see this post: https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/who-will-debunk-the-debunkers/

+Kate Stone +GotScience.org ___

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2017-06-16 11:54:11 (7 comments; 0 reshares; 37 +1s; )Open 

Summer Salad Inspired by +Katherine Bond

You can view her original version here: https://plus.google.com/100519372768292071160/posts/ceCyJ4Cq4gS

My take consists of:

"date tomatoes"
1 red bell pepper
1 cucumber (peeled skin because of a picky eater, but good with skin too)
half an onion (it was left over)
a handful of green onion bulbs (the greens were used in a soup)
1 medium can chickpeas - washed and drained
1 medium can black beans - washed and drained
1 medium can kidney beans - washed and drained
chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh "wild" parsely
chopped Feta cheese
some black olives

I made my own sauce :
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamico
3 tablespoons water
1 shot of leftover red wine
threw in some pinches of brown sugar... more »

Summer Salad Inspired by +Katherine Bond

You can view her original version here: https://plus.google.com/100519372768292071160/posts/ceCyJ4Cq4gS

My take consists of:

"date tomatoes"
1 red bell pepper
1 cucumber (peeled skin because of a picky eater, but good with skin too)
half an onion (it was left over)
a handful of green onion bulbs (the greens were used in a soup)
1 medium can chickpeas - washed and drained
1 medium can black beans - washed and drained
1 medium can kidney beans - washed and drained
chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh "wild" parsely
chopped Feta cheese
some black olives

I made my own sauce :
6 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamico
3 tablespoons water
1 shot of leftover red wine
threw in some pinches of brown sugar
powdered garlic (I didn't have fresh and was too lazy to go to the store)
some dried rosemary
a spoonful of strawberry jam (fig preserves would have been best but didn't have any open, so I used what I had)
lime juice - liberally
freshly ground sea salt, chili flakes, and black pepper to taste

We'll see how folks like it. I think it will be a tasty alternative to a conventional lettuce salad on a hot summer evening. (fingers crossed)

Sorry - Google is too helpful and reverse sorted the pictures. sigh. Why can't I pick out which one is the album cover when posting like I could with Google in the old days? <old Steve shakes fist at sky and mumbles invectives>
___

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2017-06-16 11:38:21 (13 comments; 0 reshares; 48 +1s; )Open 

Cous-Cous for later today

Such a simple dish. Cous-Cous ~250g, boil ~300 g water, throw in bouillion then pour over the cous-cous. Let stand for about 10 min. In the meantime you can prepare whatever you want to add: mint, parsley, tomatoes, cashews, chopped dates, chopped figs, rainsins, almonds. There are so many variations possible. Most taste good to me but I have a picky eater in the family, so I kept this one simple. I just used fresh "wild" parsley and little "date tomatoes". One tip: make sure you have a sharp knife. It pays off with tomatoes. You want to slice and not push/mash when cutting them.

P.S. I forgot to mention I added lime juice. I like that tangy, citrusy flavor.

Cous-Cous for later today

Such a simple dish. Cous-Cous ~250g, boil ~300 g water, throw in bouillion then pour over the cous-cous. Let stand for about 10 min. In the meantime you can prepare whatever you want to add: mint, parsley, tomatoes, cashews, chopped dates, chopped figs, rainsins, almonds. There are so many variations possible. Most taste good to me but I have a picky eater in the family, so I kept this one simple. I just used fresh "wild" parsley and little "date tomatoes". One tip: make sure you have a sharp knife. It pays off with tomatoes. You want to slice and not push/mash when cutting them.

P.S. I forgot to mention I added lime juice. I like that tangy, citrusy flavor.
___

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2017-06-10 09:31:42 (21 comments; 0 reshares; 68 +1s; )Open 

Had a nice evening at a Bosnian restaurant this past week.

Had a nice evening at a Bosnian restaurant this past week.___

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2017-06-09 20:17:56 (18 comments; 5 reshares; 111 +1s; )Open 

Beware of Bucky

Early writings about it claim that its blossoms emitted an aroma reminiscent of the stench of "a thousand dead elephants rotting in the sun." While this is surely hyperbole, staffers have been waiting for many months to experience Bucky’s olfactory charms.


http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/meet-stinky-bucky-bulbophyllum-orchid-shutdown-smithsonian-greenhouse-180962924/

Beware of Bucky

Early writings about it claim that its blossoms emitted an aroma reminiscent of the stench of "a thousand dead elephants rotting in the sun." While this is surely hyperbole, staffers have been waiting for many months to experience Bucky’s olfactory charms.


http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/meet-stinky-bucky-bulbophyllum-orchid-shutdown-smithsonian-greenhouse-180962924/___

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2017-06-08 19:50:37 (5 comments; 2 reshares; 85 +1s; )Open 

Physics can be fun!

Read about the real forces involved and the fake forces too.

This centrifugal fictitious force is felt by anyone moving in circular motion. A common example is on spinning amusement park rides, which plaster us against the walls with nothing supporting us below. Although it feels like a force is pushing us into the wall, it’s really just the inertial motion from the circular path we take.

Thanks to +Jonathan Trinastic  and +Kate Stone  for a fun article dealing with an application of fundamental physics.

Physics can be fun!

Read about the real forces involved and the fake forces too.

This centrifugal fictitious force is felt by anyone moving in circular motion. A common example is on spinning amusement park rides, which plaster us against the walls with nothing supporting us below. Although it feels like a force is pushing us into the wall, it’s really just the inertial motion from the circular path we take.

Thanks to +Jonathan Trinastic  and +Kate Stone  for a fun article dealing with an application of fundamental physics.___

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2017-06-07 20:29:03 (11 comments; 4 reshares; 80 +1s; )Open 

Very exciting find and a good reason why the black market trade in amber from that and similar sites is of concern. Fortunately the scientist secured this specimen.

h/t to +Marko Bosscher and +Warren Lissel

99 million year old chick preserved in amber
The specimen is a enantiornite chick Perfectly preserved in two fragments of amber, originally forming a single block.
The chick preserves the skeleton of the skull, part of the presacral vertebral column, of the distal part of the wing and part of the leg. The amber has also retained traces of the soft parts of the body, in particular the shape of the neck, legs and tail.
It is even known the margin of the opening of the ear, bordered by thin filaments as in today's birds. Note the excellent preservation of the leg, with his feet still perfectly preserved at the level of the fingertips. I repeat: this fossil is 99 million years old!___Very exciting find and a good reason why the black market trade in amber from that and similar sites is of concern. Fortunately the scientist secured this specimen.

h/t to +Marko Bosscher and +Warren Lissel

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2017-06-05 22:18:06 (18 comments; 7 reshares; 99 +1s; )Open 

What can science offer to offset this staggering potential for suffering and loss? Recent findings in neuroscience may offer hope that the brain has the flexibility to slow progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

+Jonathan Trinastic  has an excellent policy article on why sometimes public funding of science in pursuit of health goals for the population makes a difference.

+GotScience.org  +Kate Stone 

What can science offer to offset this staggering potential for suffering and loss? Recent findings in neuroscience may offer hope that the brain has the flexibility to slow progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

+Jonathan Trinastic  has an excellent policy article on why sometimes public funding of science in pursuit of health goals for the population makes a difference.

+GotScience.org  +Kate Stone ___

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2017-05-29 19:27:15 (13 comments; 0 reshares; 55 +1s; )Open 

Weekend cook out

Wild salmon and tuna steaks marinated in a mixture of: brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, chili flakes, and sesame seeds.

Asparagus roasted with thyme, butter, salt, and a dash of red wine. Side dish of risotto. Almost forgot a few grilled veggies too.

Dessert: simple, but very chocolatey French cake topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, and crowned with a few fresh raspberries.

Yes, you do want to accept that invite to come over when I cook out. ;-) As Saruman once said, "it would be wise,my friend." The hobbits certainly enjoy second breakfast when they are passing through....

Note: I have posted, reposted, and hopefully posted for the last time because for some reason the photos were uploading in thumnail size.

Weekend cook out

Wild salmon and tuna steaks marinated in a mixture of: brown sugar, soy sauce, garlic, lime juice, chili flakes, and sesame seeds.

Asparagus roasted with thyme, butter, salt, and a dash of red wine. Side dish of risotto. Almost forgot a few grilled veggies too.

Dessert: simple, but very chocolatey French cake topped with a dusting of powdered sugar, and crowned with a few fresh raspberries.

Yes, you do want to accept that invite to come over when I cook out. ;-) As Saruman once said, "it would be wise,my friend." The hobbits certainly enjoy second breakfast when they are passing through....

Note: I have posted, reposted, and hopefully posted for the last time because for some reason the photos were uploading in thumnail size. ___

posted image

2017-05-29 06:51:24 (25 comments; 16 reshares; 301 +1s; )Open 

Another Pair

Love is in the air on my trees. The ladybirds are coming for the aphids and finding mates.

Another Pair

Love is in the air on my trees. The ladybirds are coming for the aphids and finding mates. ___

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2017-05-26 21:34:07 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 25 +1s; )Open 

New Feature on Google?

I'm not sure how long I've had this. It's helpful for me so far. Probably has some downsides too but so far I like it.

read about it here: https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/26/15701778/google-personal-tab-search-results-gmail-photos-images-maps-news-filter

New Feature on Google?

I'm not sure how long I've had this. It's helpful for me so far. Probably has some downsides too but so far I like it.

read about it here: https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/26/15701778/google-personal-tab-search-results-gmail-photos-images-maps-news-filter ___

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2017-05-26 08:32:58 (9 comments; 11 reshares; 149 +1s; )Open 

Integration is Key to Consciousness

Our experience of the world is unified: we aren’t conscious of the separate sides of the visual field, for example. It is the brain’s unification of information from senses, memories, motivations, and actions that Oizumi and Tononi propose as defining what it is to be conscious. Being unconscious—during sleep or anesthesia, for example—is a breakdown of this integration that can be seen in certain dynamics of brain activation patterns.

h/t +Kate Stone 

Integration is Key to Consciousness

Our experience of the world is unified: we aren’t conscious of the separate sides of the visual field, for example. It is the brain’s unification of information from senses, memories, motivations, and actions that Oizumi and Tononi propose as defining what it is to be conscious. Being unconscious—during sleep or anesthesia, for example—is a breakdown of this integration that can be seen in certain dynamics of brain activation patterns.

h/t +Kate Stone ___

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2017-05-25 09:51:47 (20 comments; 7 reshares; 149 +1s; )Open 

Predators and Prey

These two ladybirds ( Harmonia axyridis commonly referred to as Harlequin or Asian ladybird beetles) moved around amongst their prey while mating. The larger female carried the male and even stopped for a snack.

Aphids and ladybird beetles live in a classic predator-prey relationship with the prey population going up first and the predator population following with a lag. Aphids respond to predation in their colonies by having the next generation disperse by migrating to new sites, but eventually the predators catch up. Since the beetles are able to fly they can scout many sites and discover new colonies.

About the harlequin ladybird beetles: I certainly prefer the native species (Adalia bipuncta "two spotted" and Coccinella septempunctata "seven spotted") but the harlequins are all over in the wild. They were first observed in... more »

Predators and Prey

These two ladybirds ( Harmonia axyridis commonly referred to as Harlequin or Asian ladybird beetles) moved around amongst their prey while mating. The larger female carried the male and even stopped for a snack.

Aphids and ladybird beetles live in a classic predator-prey relationship with the prey population going up first and the predator population following with a lag. Aphids respond to predation in their colonies by having the next generation disperse by migrating to new sites, but eventually the predators catch up. Since the beetles are able to fly they can scout many sites and discover new colonies.

About the harlequin ladybird beetles: I certainly prefer the native species (Adalia bipuncta "two spotted" and Coccinella septempunctata "seven spotted") but the harlequins are all over in the wild. They were first observed in numbers in Germany in 2002 and have outcompeted local species for the last decade. I did purchase 200 native larvae and set them out in my garden a few days before these mature harlequin ladybird beetles showed up. Hopefully some of the native species will mature and continue to reside here.

Side note: +I am not Alice - if you're still around, I might know more about ladybird beetle mating than bees. :-)

#prey #predators #ladybird #beetles___

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2017-05-22 18:11:19 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 43 +1s; )Open 

Crane flies enjoying a "romantic" moment

Seen today on a meadow during my lunch break. Crane flies are in the family Tipulidae but as there are around 4000 species worldwide with 140 in Germany, I'm not sure which one this is. I believe I can narrow this down to a genus of Nephrotoma (Krähenschnaken) but that's a best guess.

They don't bite people; they live off of nectar and water.

This picture is also (like the bee I shared earlier today) a smartphone photo cropped to isolate the subject.

Crane flies enjoying a "romantic" moment

Seen today on a meadow during my lunch break. Crane flies are in the family Tipulidae but as there are around 4000 species worldwide with 140 in Germany, I'm not sure which one this is. I believe I can narrow this down to a genus of Nephrotoma (Krähenschnaken) but that's a best guess.

They don't bite people; they live off of nectar and water.

This picture is also (like the bee I shared earlier today) a smartphone photo cropped to isolate the subject.___

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2017-05-22 17:44:50 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 49 +1s; )Open 

Red-Tailed Bumblebee

Looks a bit more like an orange or rust color to me but apparently the common name is "red-tailed bumblebee" (Latin Bombu. lapidarius ; German Steinhummel ). I happened it noticed it during my walk at lunch. Very gentle. It let me get close with my smartphone. Unfortunately the smartphone doesn't focus fast so I had to back off a bit and take a quick one. I cropped it to give you an impression.

I really am happy with the fields and meadows around here. Very insect friendly!

Red-Tailed Bumblebee

Looks a bit more like an orange or rust color to me but apparently the common name is "red-tailed bumblebee" (Latin Bombu. lapidarius ; German Steinhummel ). I happened it noticed it during my walk at lunch. Very gentle. It let me get close with my smartphone. Unfortunately the smartphone doesn't focus fast so I had to back off a bit and take a quick one. I cropped it to give you an impression.

I really am happy with the fields and meadows around here. Very insect friendly!___

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2017-05-21 14:03:41 (20 comments; 1 reshares; 34 +1s; )Open 

Not your everyday prom picture

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39989986

Not your everyday prom picture

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-39989986___

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2017-05-21 13:00:38 (44 comments; 9 reshares; 253 +1s; )Open 

Red chestnut (horse chestnut) blossom. The weather forecast was wrong. We have beautiful, mild weather today with just a few clouds.

Red chestnut (horse chestnut) blossom. The weather forecast was wrong. We have beautiful, mild weather today with just a few clouds. ___

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2017-05-17 05:59:19 (45 comments; 6 reshares; 300 +1s; )Open 

Dinosaur Day?

I saw on Twitter someone posting about Dinosaur Day. I never heard of that before but I'm onboard. Heck, every day should be Dinosaur Day!

Say hello to Monoclonius nasicornus found in the Red Deer River Deposit, Alberta, Canada. This specimen is exhibited at the Paleontological Museum in München, Germany.


Photo: not 100% true to what you see or photograph, as I had to make geometric (perspective) adjustments. I had to photograph at an angle due physical constraints on where I take a picture and still get the whole specimen. Still this should be close enough.

#dinosaurs #science #museum

Dinosaur Day?

I saw on Twitter someone posting about Dinosaur Day. I never heard of that before but I'm onboard. Heck, every day should be Dinosaur Day!

Say hello to Monoclonius nasicornus found in the Red Deer River Deposit, Alberta, Canada. This specimen is exhibited at the Paleontological Museum in München, Germany.


Photo: not 100% true to what you see or photograph, as I had to make geometric (perspective) adjustments. I had to photograph at an angle due physical constraints on where I take a picture and still get the whole specimen. Still this should be close enough.

#dinosaurs #science #museum___

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2017-05-11 09:59:56 (8 comments; 1 reshares; 57 +1s; )Open 

Sunny days have been infrequent lately. This striking tree brought me a smile on a busy day.
Have a great Thorsday!

Sunny days have been infrequent lately. This striking tree brought me a smile on a busy day.
Have a great Thorsday!___

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2017-05-06 21:33:51 (8 comments; 1 reshares; 42 +1s; )Open 

American Gods

Normally I'm always a season behind the hot shows on US-TV. Not this time. Since Amazon offers this one, I get to watch each episode as it comes out. A rare treat.

American Gods is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman works. I'm delighted with what I saw in the opening episode. Shadow and "Mr. Wednesday" are cast perfectly. Old "Mr. Wednesday" is my kind of conman. epic even. ;-)

American Gods

Normally I'm always a season behind the hot shows on US-TV. Not this time. Since Amazon offers this one, I get to watch each episode as it comes out. A rare treat.

American Gods is one of my favorite Neil Gaiman works. I'm delighted with what I saw in the opening episode. Shadow and "Mr. Wednesday" are cast perfectly. Old "Mr. Wednesday" is my kind of conman. epic even. ;-) ___

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2017-05-04 18:41:11 (8 comments; 0 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

Canadian "Care Package"

Wow! what a nice surprise to come home to tonight. +Shawna Mac, sent me some lovely items from frozen Nova Scotia. Now I can proudly wear a Canadian flag patch, I have an ammonite, some lens filters, lovely post cards, a package of Canadian maple leaf sweets, and honest to goodness blueberry honey!

Thank you very much for brightening my day! you shouldn't have, but now that the goodies are here, I'm keeping them :-)

Canadian "Care Package"

Wow! what a nice surprise to come home to tonight. +Shawna Mac, sent me some lovely items from frozen Nova Scotia. Now I can proudly wear a Canadian flag patch, I have an ammonite, some lens filters, lovely post cards, a package of Canadian maple leaf sweets, and honest to goodness blueberry honey!

Thank you very much for brightening my day! you shouldn't have, but now that the goodies are here, I'm keeping them :-)___

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2017-05-01 19:12:42 (16 comments; 0 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

Could use some recent music recommendations to invigorate my playlists.

Pop, Rock are good. I do like classical so something instrumental might be good too. Not so hot on country or metal. (sorry +Darryl Woodbury but Clutch is about as hard as I rock). Some "recent" groups I've enjoyed: Imagine Dragons , Fallout Boy, X-Ambassadors, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Kate Tempest, and You, Me at Six . Maybe that gives an idea. Love "classic rock" from the 60s through the 80s too, but as mentioned, I'm looking for recent music to add to my playlists.

thanks in advance for your recommendations!

Just to make it more interesting / head-scratching for non-German speakers, here's a fun one from die Ärzte called Männer und Frauen from 2012. (Peter Fox has some that are even more fun but I've shared them before).

Could use some recent music recommendations to invigorate my playlists.

Pop, Rock are good. I do like classical so something instrumental might be good too. Not so hot on country or metal. (sorry +Darryl Woodbury but Clutch is about as hard as I rock). Some "recent" groups I've enjoyed: Imagine Dragons , Fallout Boy, X-Ambassadors, Arctic Monkeys, Black Keys, Kate Tempest, and You, Me at Six . Maybe that gives an idea. Love "classic rock" from the 60s through the 80s too, but as mentioned, I'm looking for recent music to add to my playlists.

thanks in advance for your recommendations!

Just to make it more interesting / head-scratching for non-German speakers, here's a fun one from die Ärzte called Männer und Frauen from 2012. (Peter Fox has some that are even more fun but I've shared them before). ___

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2017-04-30 16:24:00 (14 comments; 0 reshares; 87 +1s; )Open 

This bumblebee flew in my open window by for a visit and then couldn't figure out how to go back outside. I shot a few quick photos then helped it back outside.

This bumblebee flew in my open window by for a visit and then couldn't figure out how to go back outside. I shot a few quick photos then helped it back outside. ___

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2017-04-30 16:21:29 (11 comments; 0 reshares; 19 +1s; )Open 

Asking Canon photographers for advice on lenses

I'm thinking of going to full frame sometime this year (waiting on Canon 6D MkII to make a decision: assuming my pocketbook allows it). In the meantime I'm thinking about lenses.

I have 3 that I'm happy with:

24mm pancake : very good for the price
100mm macro : excellent optics (I should have gotten the IS version, but I do ok with this one even though I shoot handheld); even makes a pretty decent portrait lens.
100-400mm II IS: really delighted with the quality at any focal length

My main walkabout is a 15-85 mm. It's definitely a step up from the old kit lens I had (18-135 mm version 1). Still I feel "meh" about it.

The one I'm really not happy with is the Canon 50 mm 1.4. It just does not deliver what I was hoping for from a 1.4 lens. Stopped down to... more »

Asking Canon photographers for advice on lenses

I'm thinking of going to full frame sometime this year (waiting on Canon 6D MkII to make a decision: assuming my pocketbook allows it). In the meantime I'm thinking about lenses.

I have 3 that I'm happy with:

24mm pancake : very good for the price
100mm macro : excellent optics (I should have gotten the IS version, but I do ok with this one even though I shoot handheld); even makes a pretty decent portrait lens.
100-400mm II IS: really delighted with the quality at any focal length

My main walkabout is a 15-85 mm. It's definitely a step up from the old kit lens I had (18-135 mm version 1). Still I feel "meh" about it.

The one I'm really not happy with is the Canon 50 mm 1.4. It just does not deliver what I was hoping for from a 1.4 lens. Stopped down to 2.0 I can nail focus but I don't feel excited about the image, the bokeh, or the colors. I bought the 1.4 a few years ago as an upgrade over the 1.8 without breaking the bank, but it just doesn't seem much better to me other than build quality.

What I'm thinking about (usable on my current 7DMkII and future full frame(TBD)):

1. a better 50mm 1.4 (Sigma Art? Zeiss? other?)
2. a good 85mm 1.x (Canon? Sigma? Zeiss? other?)
3. a decent walkabout for the full frame. (24-105 kit? something else?)

So to those of you who are photographers and have recommendations based on experience with Canon crop or full frame, I'd love to hear your thoughts, esp. about the 50mm 1.4 and better alternatives.

Photo: well you have to have a photo to get a post noticed. A bumblebee wandered in while I had my window open and couldn't figure out how to get out...___

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2017-04-28 17:07:11 (37 comments; 3 reshares; 56 +1s; )Open 

Definitely worth a read.

Meanwhile, a cream tea is what you might think a biscuit is, which in the UK is a sweet food. Do not put gravy on it. Also what you think of as gravy is in fact some sort of sausage jizz, and what you call cookies are actually biscuits.

Definitely worth a read.

Meanwhile, a cream tea is what you might think a biscuit is, which in the UK is a sweet food. Do not put gravy on it. Also what you think of as gravy is in fact some sort of sausage jizz, and what you call cookies are actually biscuits.___

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2017-04-27 18:47:16 (12 comments; 8 reshares; 88 +1s; )Open 

On any given day, about 90,000 kilograms of dust and small rocks hit the Earth. What happens when something larger is on a collision course with Earth?

Asteroid Hunters by Carrie Nugent was quite an enjoyable read. It's short, informative, and quite relevant as the recent fly-by of "2014 JO25", an asteroid with a diameter of 650 meters demonstrated.

If you've ever been interested in how scientists really detect potential planet (or hemisphere) killer, or how they might deflect them then this is an excellent book to start with.

read more on +GotScience.org  (includes link to a TED Talk on the subject).

On any given day, about 90,000 kilograms of dust and small rocks hit the Earth. What happens when something larger is on a collision course with Earth?

Asteroid Hunters by Carrie Nugent was quite an enjoyable read. It's short, informative, and quite relevant as the recent fly-by of "2014 JO25", an asteroid with a diameter of 650 meters demonstrated.

If you've ever been interested in how scientists really detect potential planet (or hemisphere) killer, or how they might deflect them then this is an excellent book to start with.

read more on +GotScience.org  (includes link to a TED Talk on the subject).___

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2017-04-25 20:48:05 (14 comments; 7 reshares; 149 +1s; )Open 

+Shayna Keyles  writes about the recent March for Science.

Fortunately, much of the public does care about facts. Part of the ideology of this march was that science is a field based on fact, and marching for science is thus marching for truth and integrity. Others also marched for conservation, climate protection, environmental regulation, education reform, workplace equality, reproductive rights, and countless other crucial issues—all of which overlap with science.

+Shayna Keyles  writes about the recent March for Science.

Fortunately, much of the public does care about facts. Part of the ideology of this march was that science is a field based on fact, and marching for science is thus marching for truth and integrity. Others also marched for conservation, climate protection, environmental regulation, education reform, workplace equality, reproductive rights, and countless other crucial issues—all of which overlap with science.___

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2017-04-25 20:39:19 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 34 +1s; )Open 

They're after me lucky charms on to me

Is it a wayward piece of the aurora borealis? Or maybe a plane’s contrail? A rarely seen strip of a proton aurora? Or is it a comet’s tail?

Actually, it’s none of the above. Scientists are still working to figure out exactly what they’re dealing with.

And until that day, they’re going to call it Steve.

h/t +Rikki Kuykendall

They're after me lucky charms on to me

Is it a wayward piece of the aurora borealis? Or maybe a plane’s contrail? A rarely seen strip of a proton aurora? Or is it a comet’s tail?

Actually, it’s none of the above. Scientists are still working to figure out exactly what they’re dealing with.

And until that day, they’re going to call it Steve.

h/t +Rikki Kuykendall___

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2017-04-18 21:22:20 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 40 +1s; )Open 

Enjoying the original Fast and Furry-ous

It's hard to believe that Wile E. Coyote made his debut in 1949. This animation classic really is called Fast and Furry-ous.

You can view it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ep2kp_fast-and-furry-ous_fun (7 minutes).

Enjoying the original Fast and Furry-ous

It's hard to believe that Wile E. Coyote made his debut in 1949. This animation classic really is called Fast and Furry-ous.

You can view it here: http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ep2kp_fast-and-furry-ous_fun (7 minutes). ___

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2017-04-15 07:27:33 (3 comments; 0 reshares; 41 +1s; )Open 

Breakfast in a skillet

Hashbrown potatoes
Chopped onion
Chopped Black Forest ham
3 eggs (beaten)
2 handfuls of grated cheese (cheddar or whatever you like)
Salt, black pepper, red pepper

Breakfast in a skillet

Hashbrown potatoes
Chopped onion
Chopped Black Forest ham
3 eggs (beaten)
2 handfuls of grated cheese (cheddar or whatever you like)
Salt, black pepper, red pepper___

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